The Joy and Gift of Repentance—Recent Messages from Prophets and Apostles
October 2022

Digital Only

The Joy and Gift of Repentance—Recent Messages from Prophets and Apostles

See what living prophets have taught recently on social media about repentance.

Jesus taking the hand of the woman taken in adultery

In the April 2022 general conference, President Russell M. Nelson invited us to “discover the joy of daily repentance.”1 He added:

“Repenting is the key to progress. Pure faith keeps us moving forward on the covenant path.

“Please do not fear or delay repenting. Satan delights in your misery. Cut it short. Cast his influence out of your life! Start today to experience the joy of putting off the natural man. The Savior loves us always but especially when we repent.”2

Members of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have spoken in general conference of the joy of repentance. They have also shared messages about this topic on social media, including the following:

Repentance and Comfort through Christ

“God is not devoid of emotions. He looks after us with all the tender feeling of a loving parent. I imagine the joy He felt in knowing that [His Beloved Son] would eventually win a glorious triumph over sin and death—throwing open the doors of heavenly possibilities so that you and I could someday live again with our loved ones.

“But I also believe His joy was tempered by the perfect knowledge of what awaited His Beloved Son. … This same Son would suffer as none had ever, nor could ever, suffer.

“But because our Heavenly Father loves us so much, He allowed these joyful and painful events to take their proper course. Because the world needed saving, and because you and I need saving, He sent us a Savior.

“… Let us accept God’s perfect and precious gift. Let us cast our burdens and sins at the Savior’s feet and experience the joy that comes from repentance and change. Let us follow Jesus Christ and emulate His life.”

President Russell M. Nelson, Facebook, Dec. 24, 2021, facebook.com/russell.m.nelson.

How God Feels When We Make Mistakes

“A young person once asked me, ‘President Ballard, how does God feel about me when I make mistakes?’ Perhaps you have wondered this too.

“God loves all of His children, and He understands that life is an experience for all of us. We’re not perfect. We’re going to make mistakes. He has given us His Son, Jesus Christ, to help us change and see us through mortality.

“Ultimately, we should learn to live the way He would have us live, but regardless of the speed at which we change and progress, His love for us is unchangeable because we are His children.

“The Lord Jesus Christ can help us fix anything that needs fixing in our lives through His atoning sacrifice.”

President M. Russell Ballard, Facebook, Sept. 16, 2021, facebook.com/mrussell.ballard.

Miracles of Repentance and Forgiveness

“We should try to benefit from a view of what has gone before. I plead with you to remember that the past is to be learned from, but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences, but not the ashes.

“And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we should look ahead and remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives.

“Some of you may wonder—particularly as we live through the daily tumult in the world around us today—‘Is there any future for me?’ What does a new year hold for me? Will I be safe? Will life be sound? Can I trust in the Lord and in the future?

“Please remember this: faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us and that Christ truly is the ‘high priest of good things to come’ (Hebrews 9:11).

“Keep your eyes on your dreams, however distant and far away. Live to see the miracles of repentance and forgiveness, of trust and divine love that will transform your life today, tomorrow, and forever. That is a New Year’s resolution I ask you to keep.”

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Facebook, Jan. 9, 2022, facebook.com/jeffreyr.holland.

A Cleansing Gift

“The Savior’s infinite Atonement completely changes the way we may view our transgressions and imperfections. Instead of dwelling on them and feeling irredeemable or hopeless, we can learn from them and feel hopeful. The cleansing gift of repentance allows us to leave our sins behind and emerge a new creature.”

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Facebook, June 5, 2021, facebook.com/dieterf.uchtdorf.

A Change of Heart

“Our hearts are changed by the truths we learn in the temple about God and Jesus Christ—and by the promises we make to love and serve. We focus less on what we want and more on aligning our will with God’s. … The primary function of the house of the Lord is for us to be transformed and become new creatures in Christ.

“Often in the world, change is attempted from the outside in. Many believe that changing a person’s circumstances is the best means of changing a person.

“God, however, typically works from the inside out. If we let Him, God can change our hearts— and then we are blessed with capacity and strength to change our circumstances.

“In the holy temples, what we learn and promise to do changes us from the inside out, enabling us to become more devoted disciples of Jesus Christ.”

Elder David A. Bednar, Facebook, Apr. 19, 2022, facebook.com/davida.bednar.

Coming to Know the Lord

“Some of you may believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He offered an infinite and eternal atoning sacrifice. But you also may believe that His Atonement works for everybody else—but not you. You exercise faith in the Savior but may not believe that all of His promised blessings are available to you or can operate in your life. I invite you to not only know about the Lord but also come to know Him.

“The Savior has admonished us to become as He is. We come to know the Lord as we seek through the power of His Atonement to become like Him. We come to know the Lord as we serve Him and labor in His kingdom. We more fully come to know the Lord as we not only believe in Him but also believe Him and His assurances.

“Believing Him—accepting as true His power and promises—invites perspective, peace, and joy into our lives. His Atonement is individual; it is personal. And it is for each of us.”

Elder David A. Bednar, Facebook, Mar. 14, 2021, facebook.com/davida.bednar.

Personal Responsibility

“The Savior, in paying the penalty for our sins, did not relieve us of personal responsibility for how we live our lives. The value of work, industriousness, laboring with our might, improving our talents, and providing for families have been universally proclaimed in scriptures from the beginning.

“My challenge to you is to examine your goals and determine which ones will allow you to fulfill family obligations, keep you on your covenant pathway, and allow you to have the joy the Lord wants for you. Remember, having a goal allows you to save time and effort by planning ahead and not missing important prerequisites and deadlines.

“You need not be afraid despite the dangers and challenges you will face. You will be blessed and protected when you seek righteous, worthwhile goals; plan and work with grit and determination; and rely and focus on faith, repentance, saving ordinances, and the Savior’s atoning sacrifice as you endure to the end. Focusing on the temple will help you achieve these goals.

“I solemnly testify of the divinity of Jesus Christ. Because of Him we need not fear, for in Him our joy is full.”

Elder Quentin L. Cook, Facebook, Dec. 8, 2021, facebook.com/quentin.lcook.

Honest, Sincere Personal Prayers

“I have found in my own life, when a loved one or a friend suggests things I need to change, even if they’re true, the natural man inside of me sometimes pops up and says, ‘You’re not seeing it from my point of view,’ or ‘Who are you to judge?’ Or I may even think, ‘Maybe you should work on yourself.’ However, when I’m kneeling humbly before my Heavenly Father, and asking in the depth of sincerity, ‘Father, what do I need to change?’ ‘Where do I need to repent?’ ‘Where am I lacking?’ A calm feeling comes over me, and at the appropriate time, I hear Him. And His truth, His eternal truth, penetrates my heart.

“Honest, sincere personal prayer in those quiet moments opens the window to revelation from our Heavenly Father. We hear Him. He speaks to us. Trying to listen to the quiet impressions of the Spirit and promising my Heavenly Father that I will be more attentive to those things where I can improve seems to me to bring a greater ability for me to hear Him.

“Real change rarely happens in a day. I know it doesn’t for me. But with time, we become more and more than we were. As we hear Him and act on the spiritual direction we receive from Him, He showers His spirit and His approval upon us. There’s nothing better than that—feeling His approval, feeling His Spirit. The Holy Ghost confirms our Heavenly Father’s love for us. And I know in my case, He assures me that even these small steps of progress are helping me to come closer to Him.”

Elder Neil L. Andersen, “How I Hear Him,” Dec. 27, 2021, facebook.com/neill.andersen.

With Real Intent

“Recently a missionary asked me, ‘Are we hypocrites if we don’t keep all the commandments that we teach to the people?’ This is such a great question! I thought I would share my answer here. I know that I don’t have to be perfect to be called to be a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. I know better than anybody that I’m not perfect. So do we have to be perfect to serve the Lord? Of course not. It isn’t about that.

“There’s a big difference between rebellion and weakness. So it is hypocritical to teach a commandment that you don’t intend to keep. That would be hypocritical. But to teach commandments and then stumble and repent—that’s not hypocritical, because you are intending to keep the commandment. When we do things with real intent, it means that we intend to keep the commandments. So there isn’t anything that’s hypocritical about teaching about the covenant path or about teaching about God’s commandments when you in fact intend to keep all of them. You know and can testify that keeping those commandments will bring blessings.

“In the Book of Mormon, Moroni 6:8 says, ‘But as oft as they repented and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven.’ The hypocritical part comes if we make a mistake and don’t repent and don’t intend to repent. Integrity is that our actions and our beliefs are in complete harmony—it is how we try to live our lives. But is it hypocritical if we can’t always do that? No, that’s the whole point of repentance, isn’t it? We can repent from those things that despite our good efforts we fail to do. Because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, forgiveness is real.”

Elder Dale G. Renlund, Facebook, Feb. 15, 2022, facebook.com/DaleGRenlund.

God’s Kindness and Incomparable Power

“My dear friends, I testify to you that as we genuinely repent of our sins, we allow the atoning sacrifice of Christ to become wholly effective in our lives. The gift of repentance is an expression of God’s kindness toward His children, and it is a demonstration of His incomparable power to help us overcome the sins we commit.”

Elder Ulisses Soares, Facebook, June 2, 2021, facebook.com/soares.u.